Water could be the single most important weight loss aid that most of us take for granted. Our body is made up of approximately 60-70% water and all bodily functions depend on water to continue working properly. For a weight management plan to succeed, most fitness experts would agree that water should play a key role in it. Here are some reasons why.

Water literally curbs your appetite. Studies have shown that respondents who drank two cups of water right before a meal consumed 75 to 90 fewer calories than those who did not. In the course of 12 weeks, those who drank water right before a meal lost 5 pounds more. That is eye-opening. Water fills up the stomach with virtually zero calories. People feel fuller as a result of drinking water and eat less than what they normally do. Over time, this leads to significant weight loss.

Often, we confuse our body's need for water as hunger. Most of the time we reach for food instead of drinking a glass of water. Experts recommend drinking 2 cups of water if you feel hunger pangs, then wait a few minutes to see if you're still hungry. If you're not, chances are you were just thirsty. When you first feel thirst, your body has already lost 1% of its total water amount. Though eating alleviates it because most foods contain water, it is important to recognize thirst for what it is in order to avoid unnecessary eating especially when we are trying to lose weight. This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to lose weight. All we have to do is always have a bottle of water ready so that we can reach for it at the first sign of hunger. The longer we wait to gratify our thirst, the more attractive that hot fudge brownie looks.

Water retention is another problem that can be avoided by drinking adequate amounts of water. Water retention, among other pathologic reasons, may happen when the body recognizes that there is an insufficient amount of water in the body. The body goes into survival mode and stores water. So water retention ensues which tranlates to additional pounds on the scale. When you start drinking water adequately, the body again recognizes that there is no need to store large amounts of water, so bloating decreases and water weight is released. When this happens, people literally lose inches from their waistlines.

So how much water should we drink? The standard that most people adhere to is still 6-8 glasses of water daily. Of course, these could be plain water, those found in most foods, and other beverages. The need for water also increases when we engage in activities that make us perspire and sweat out such as when exercising. So be sure to compensate accordingly.

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